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OPP boss vows to clear name after being accused of tyring to influence municipal officials

Vaughan -

January 25, 2010 08:15 AM

Joe Fantauzzi

Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino said he will vigorously defend himself against an allegation he attempted to influence municipal officials.

The summons was served to the commissioner by York police last week because he lives in the region.

“I have been a strong advocate throughout my career for a fair and impartial criminal justice system,” he said. “My intent, as I have previously made known, is to vigorously defend myself and the OPP against this vexatious allegation. I have absolute confidence in the ultimate outcome of this process,” the commissioner said in a statement.

The allegation concerns an e-mail, widely distributed and reported on and attributed to Commissioner Fantino.

He declined interview requests yesterday.

The e-mail  was sent in 2007 to municipal officials in Caledonia. The message suggests that local politicians there do not attend the rallies of activist Gary McHale, a former Richmond Hill resident and executive director of Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality.

Mr. McHale has asked that an “outside prosecutor” be assigned to the case.

The Attorney General’s office has already assigned a prosecutor that has no previous involvement with the file, spokesperson Brendan Crawley said.

A native land dispute continues in Caledonia.

The case is scheduled to appear before a court in Cayuga again on Feb. 3.